The Business Life Podcast #021 - One thing that will dramatically increase your productivity

The Business Life Podcast #021 - One thing that will dramatically increase your productivityAchievement is really nothing more than doing small, specific tasks that lead to a desired result.

And to have long-term, sustained success in our business, we need to have many achievements along the way. So, it should come as no surprise that in order to have many achievements, we need to be PRODUCTIVE.

Yes, productivity!  A concept that we focus on a lot, but often have trouble mastering. There are so many reasons that we fail to be productive on a consistent basis: distractions, interruptions and an overwhelming amount of demands to name a few.

But, I’ll argue that there is ONE reason that keeps us from being productive more than any of the rest, and that’s simply not completing tasks. That’s right: productivity only comes from completing tasks. Things that are half-done aren’t worth much in most cases. And, when we get a stockpile of uncompleted tasks, it completely ruins our ability to be productive.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing 4 tips you can use to ensure you’re completing tasks and not just working on them! Take a listen!

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • The most common causes for a lack or loss of productivity.
  • What it’s costing you and your business by not completing tasks.
  • Four ways for how to do a better job of completing tasks and dramatically increase your productivity.

Another resource to help increase your productivity:

“Scheduling Your Day Like a Pro.”  Learn to become highly efficient and highly proactive in your business with my online course in time management and productivity!  YES, I’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS! » »

Was this episode helpful for you? If so…:

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The Business Life Podcast #019 - Business Networking Success

The Business Life podcast #019 - Determine how and where to spend your time networkingIf you have a local business, are B2B or are a service-based business, networking is a great way to grow your business and build relationships.

But, networking can be a gigantic waste of time too, if not done correctly!

There are so many ways to network with others these days: networking groups, events, industry related associations, one-on-one meetings, social media;  it’s overwhelming! How do we decide where we should be networking? How do we decide how much time we should be networking each week? How do we decide what type of networking is going to give us the greatest return on our investment?

These are all questions that you need to answer if you want to make the most of your business networking opportunities. In this episode of The Business Life Podcast, I go in-depth on how you can decide where and how you should be networking to make it an effective part of your business strategy. Take a listen and be sure to download the free Networking Worksheet below that goes along with the episode!

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • How to determine where your target customers and clients are networking so that you have the best chance of meeting the right people.
  • Decide what value you want to receive by networking, as well as what value you can offer to people you are networking with.
  • Determining if the amount of time and commitment you are spending networking is really worth it.

Resource mentioned in this episode:

NETWORKING WORKSHEET.  This worksheet is designed to help you answer the questions of who, where and how to network for your business to get the best return on your investment!

By entering your information, you're also joining my email Community! My email Community is a prosperous group of business professionals that engage, share and aspire to continuously improve their business and life.

Was this episode helpful for you? If so…:

Subscribe to The Business Life podcast on iTunes [⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I would love a review as well]!

Let’s connect online! I really enjoy getting to know other small business owners and sales professionals, and providing value.

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Why your days run together - productivity, procrastination [BLOG POST]

My wife often makes fun of me for getting sidetracked and forgetting where I’m headed when I’m driving. I’ll be cruising along and miss a turn or even drive right past our destination. On long trips, I sometimes look at the road signs and think, “I don’t remember driving that last 30 miles.”

While that probably doesn’t happen to you, I bet you experience something similar during a normal week. One day you look at your calendar and think, “how is it already Friday?” Where did those other 4 days go? You’re pretty sure you lived through them, but if you think back, you can’t exactly remember what you did each day. Am I right?

I’ll let you in on the secret as to why our days tend to run together: we spend most of our time in reactive mode instead of proactive mode.

Reactive mode doesn’t always mean ‘taking care of emergencies and problems.’  You’re “reactive” if you’re:

  1. working on tasks that you’ve procrastinated on
  2. avoiding work that you don’t want to do but is vital to your progress and success
  3. spending time on meaningless activities instead of advancing your business
  4. having no plan at all to start the day

How much of your day is spent in these four categories? If we want to have a healthy, growing, successful, fun to work in business, we must spend the majority of our day in proactive mode. Here’s three techniques to help you get focused and become proactive.

#1. Write everything down.

It’s funny how we “forget” to do something when we don’t want to do something. “Dropping the ball,” as I like to call it, is the result of disorganization and procrastination. You can eliminate disorganization very easily; write everything down in ONE place. No little sticky notes or pieces of paper scattered all over. Get a three-ring binder or spiral notebook and keep ONE sheet of paper with a list of all your tasks for the week. Every time you get a new task, write it down immediately on that sheet.

Bonus tip: In my e-course on productivity, I offer a “productivity sheet” to use on a weekly basis that will help you organize your work and life tasks, all in one place!

#2. Start ahead of time.

Procrastinating, or not giving yourself enough time to complete work, leads to more procrastination and time spent in reactive mode. The deeper you dig your hole, the harder it will be to get out. You can avoid this cycle by starting projects ahead of time. Once you get all your “pain in the butt” work done, you’ll have more time to spend in proactive mode, working on things that you’re excited about and help you grow.

Think about this: success is nothing more than a compilation of doing many small things right over a period of time. The faster you get to work on doing those many small things right, the faster you will achieve the success you’re looking for.

#3. Follow up on status and details.

Don’t mark anything as “done” until you’re 100% sure it’s taken care of. Follow up with your client, your employee or your spouse about the task in question. Make sure no details were missed and that everything is resolved. By doing this, you’re reducing the chance that it will come back to bite you in the future. The more future problems we can eliminate, the more time we can spend in proactive mode.

With these simple steps, we can start to take control of our days and spend our time being proactive. Don’t allow your days, weeks and months to blend together anymore!

When you’re serious about taking control of your days and making the most of your time, consider purchasing my e-course “Scheduling Your Day Like a Pro.” It is an easy to implement, step-by-step process to help you get organized, become efficient and start seeing actual results in your business and life.

 

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ATTENTION! THERE’S ONLY 12 DAYS LEFT IN 2016!  If you’re freaking out about how you’re going to get everything done, let me offer you some suggestions.

Only focus on the “must get done”

When we’re pushed to the limits and have tight deadlines, we overreact about everything that we have to do. Take a step back and look at your list; are there things on there that COULD wait until after the first of the year if they had to? Put those on a separate list and turn your focus to the things that must get done before January 1st.

Ask for some extra help

I like to do everything myself. Not only do I take pride in it but, admittedly, sometimes I feel like I’m the best person for the job. I’m sure you don’t have this problem 🙄 but, if you do, consider asking those around you for help. Not only will they likely be willing, you’ll probably find they can do the task just as good or better than you.

Say “no”

If you’re already stressed-out about getting important tasks done before the end of the year, should you really be taking on more? Find a way to kindly decline invitations to attend unnecessary meetings or events. If someone asks you for help with a project, do your best to find someone else that can assist them. You can find ways to say “no” without being rude to others.

Group similar tasks

This is an important concept from my e-course, “Scheduling Your Day Like a Pro!” We are much more efficient with our time when we group tasks that are similar together. For example, if you have several things to get done outside of your office, try to schedule those back-to-back. This will save you from driving back-and-forth. Similarly, try to make all of your phone calls back-to-back or reply to all your emails at one time. The more similar tasks are, the better we can maintain our concentration.

If you want to really ramp-up your productivity to finish out 2016 or would like to start 2017 energized, take a look at my e-course, “Scheduling Your Day Like a Pro!” It is a step-by-step process that anyone can easily implement to dramatically increase their daily productivity! Take control of your daily productivity. Get your most important tasks completed. Start working towards your goals.

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planning your week - to-do list

Does it sometimes bother you when people say “I have too much to do and not enough time to get it done!“? Yeah, it bothers me too! But, I’ll admit, I have said the same thing from time to time. I try to avoid saying that now, though. I’ve found that saying I have too much to do and not enough time either A. leaves me feeling overwhelmed and rushed or B. distracts me to the point that I don’t know what to start working on first. Does this happen to you?

For several years now, I’ve been an avid student of the study of time management. I have this “obsession” (as my wife calls it) for trying to get the most out of each day. Even though it makes it hard for me to relax sometimes, I have found quite a bit of success in improving my time management skills. I can often now accomplish more in a single day then I used to in a week. So what’s the “secret sauce”? It all starts with planning for the week!

Productivity is more than day-to-day.

Most of us have a tendency to be overly optimistic. Have you ever woke up in the morning and said to yourself, “I’m going to get everything done on my to-do list today!”. Then, by three o’clock that afternoon, you look at your list and only have one or two things crossed off? It happens to everyone! When we think we can get a lot accomplished in a day, we’re often overestimating.

Rather than waking up each day deciding how much we are going to get done, it’s more helpful to look at your entire week. Time management is not about getting the most things accomplished, it’s about getting the right things accomplished. If you’re spending each day trying to complete the most tasks, you’re often not getting the highest priority tasks completed. Instead, you need to look at your entire week as a whole, and determine which tasks must be done this week.

Categorizing your week.

Speaking of determining which tasks must get done in a week, I have a helpful to-do list productivity sheet that you can download for free to help! There are a couple key benefits to using a weekly to-do list sheet like this:

  1. All of your tasks are listed on one sheet that you use for the entire week, as opposed to making a new to-do list every day. By having one weekly list, you’ll be more apt to plan for your entire week instead of day-by-day, and you’ll also be less likely to “drop the ball” on certain tasks that were forgotten about on your prior day’s sheet.
  2. By categorizing your tasks into different groups (such as “jobs for customers”, “marketing tasks”, “general office tasks”) it’s easier to recognize which ones are the highest priority for the week. You’ll often find that one category will be more time sensitive one week compared to the next.

Once you have your list made, you won’t have the confused or overwhelmed feeling each day, because you’ll know which tasks to start with. Don’t forget to add tasks to your weekly list right as you receive them, to help prevent “dropping the ball”!

Use the rule of three.

I have found through years of experience that most people can get an average of three tasks completed per day. This may sound low, but if you think about it, people typically have distractions and other obligations during a normal day that prevent them from getting more done. Of course if you’re rushing through jobs, you may be able to get more done. But be careful, because as my grandpa used to tell me all the time when I was a kid “If you don’t have time to do something right the first time, when will you have time to do it again?”.

With the rule of three in mind, it’s a helpful way to look at your entire week in a realistic way. You’ll be able to see the “chunks” of time that you need to allocate to getting your highest priority tasks completed by the end of the week. This will help you from over committing yourself!

So get started today by planning out the remainder of your week, and you’ll see just how much more efficient you can be!

I am excited to hear how planning out your week has helped increase your productivity!  Please leave a comment below, or send me an email with your thoughts!

 

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